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The Three Types of Distracted Driving

person acting out the three types of distracted driving in a vehicle while talking on a cellphone, looking away from the road, and holding a to-go coffee cup

What is Considered Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents across the country. In Texas, nearly one in five crashes are caused by a distracted driver. However, despite their prevalence, many people are largely unaware of what exactly classifies as distracted driving.

Three Types of Distracted Driving

There are three main categories of distracted driving: manual, visual, and cognitive.

What Are Manual Distractions?

Anything that can take your hands off the wheel or gear shift for any amount of time is considered a manual distraction. These can include:

  • Changing the radio or climate
  • Adjusting the sun visor
  • Reaching for something in the glove compartment or on the floor
  • Grooming
  • Eating and drinking

Manual distractions can affect your driving ability in that reaction times are affected, as well as the ability to perform essential functions like turning the steering wheel in a timely manner.

What Is Considered a Visual Distraction?

In contrast, visual distractions take your eyes off the road. These are perhaps some of the most dangerous, as studies suggest that even having your eyes off the road for five seconds at 55 mph would be like driving the length of a football field. Similar to the examples mentioned above, which can all also be visual distractions, these distractions can significantly affect reaction time.

How Does a Cognitive Distraction Work?

Unlike the other types of distractions based on your physical abilities while driving, cognitive distractions take your mental focus off the road. This includes many tasks, from conversations with passengers/on the phone to daydreaming and replaying old conversations in your mind.

Cognitive distractions are the primary reason why drivers are cautioned against driving when fatigued or emotional. When your mental focus or attention is taken away from the task at hand, it may increase your risk of being involved in a collision.

Law Offices Of Vic Feazell, P.C. Holds Distracted Drivers Accountable

Our Waco and Austin car accident attorneys understand what it takes to hold a distracted driver accountable. Collisions caused by distracted driving are 100% preventable and should be taken seriously. If you’ve been injured in a crash involving a distracted driver, call (254) 938-6885 to speak with a member of our team today.